FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In the spirit of our first UU principle, “to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person”, we strive to convey in manners dependable, inclusive and discreet a ministry of hope and caring so that no member of-our congregation need be alone.
What is a Pastoral Care Associate?
Pastoral Care Associates (PCAs) are members of The Unitarian Church in Westport with a particular interest in providing a caring presence to people going through difficult times. PCAs bring a special set of gifts to this volunteer work. They receive ongoing training, support each other, and consult regularly with the minister(s). The PCA program is in the UU tradition, as an extension of the professional ministry of the congregation.
How will a PCA help me?
Your PCA will provide companionship during an illness, time of loss or in other challenging circumstances. Pastoral care is not therapy, nursing or medicine. It is active caring for people who are facing challenges in their lives. It is a kind of caring that is broad in scope and may include meeting practical needs such as providing meals or rides to appointments. At other times, pastoral care may mean gathering resources, providing emotional support and having conversations that touch on spiritual issues. Most of all, pastoral care is simply being present for you. By their presence, Pastoral Care Associates bring the love and care of our entire congregation to those in need.
How do I know I can trust my PCA?
Just as people trust ministers to keep confidences, you can trust your PCA as well. They are committed to protecting confidentiality. It is possible that a PCA may share information with the ministry as needed in order to be effective in helping you. In more serious situations, your PCA will make a covenant with you to further assure you of your privacy. Only in the most critical situations (as required by law) would there be disclosure of confidential information. For example, if we fear that someone is considering taking their own life or hurting someone else, the PCA will inform you that such concerns override the promise of confidentiality and will notify the minister.
How Do I Contact the Pastoral Care Associates?
If you are going through a challenging time or know somebody in the congregation who needs support from our Pastoral Care Associates, call to leave a confidential message in the PCA voice mailbox (203-227-7205 ext. 19) or send an email.
CLICK HERE for the Pastoral Care Associates’ charter.